We all know that healthy plants need sunlight, water, and fertilizer. However, what if you don’t have the time to purchase topsoil and fertilizer to help the plants grow at a faster rate?
I had this struggle as I was growing a number of indoor plants at home. From herbs to non-flowering plants, one thing I found in common with them was how slow the plants were growing despite getting adequate sunlight and water. For example, my basil plant, which was in indirect sunlight and received watering every 3-5 days, was not thriving. It started growing yellow leaves and was not flouring no matter how much attention and love I was giving it.
Recently, I found that one small hack made a huge difference in my indoor plant growth. Enter, the human fertilizer. I had learned from my grandmother that the easiest way to grow healthier plants was to give it urine fertiliser. Urine is rich in nitrogen and phosphorous, and has been used for generations to help plants grow. If you’re very creative, you can even add wood ash to the mix for optimal growing.
However, the secret I discovered was not to directly urinate on your plants. Because of the high concentration of nitrogen and ammonia it can actually kill a plant rather than help it grow. The pH of the urine can be too intolerable to a plant. Instead, I’ve learned to dilute the urine at around 1:20 or 1:10 ratio (1 mL per 20 mL of water or 1 mL per 10 mL of water) to improve the plant’s growing capabilities. While you can water your plants every day this way, I prefer to water my plants every week or twice a week. Most of my plants are also fairly hardy and don’t require consistent watering.
The best thing about this method is that it is completely free! Believe it or not, urine is actually the perfect fertilizer. It contains everything that the plants need. For example nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The very same things that you get in store-bought fertilizer. Many indoor plants are void of nutrients in the soil since they get used up quickly. When watering, ensure that you water slowly so the dilute urine does not soak into the ground beneath the plant pot.
To keep things clean, I like to keep the dilute urine in a small mason jar and then add water as needed. If you have young children it may be easy for them to urinate into a small collective plastic bottle or container.
Alternatively, many families have compost bins filled with organic nutrients that may also be valuable for indoor plants. However, I found that this method could also increase fruit flies and other bugs growing the house.